New York Rangers: realistic left defense targets via trade or free agency
This offseason there has been a lot of talk surrounding two positions that require an “upgrade”. One is the second line center position, and the other is a left defense partner for Jacob Trouba.
Let’s take a look at some potential options out there via trade or free agency. It should be noted that the Rangers have to clear cap space to make some of these moves. On top of that, it will be almost a moot point until they trade or buyout either Marc Staal or Brendan Smith.
Trade for Marco Scandella, St, Louis Blues
Marco Scandella is a 30 year-old veteran defenseman that could probably be had for draft picks. That’s because the Blues need to continue to clear cap space to re-sign their captain, Alex Pietrangelo.
He certainly would provide toughness and playoff experience to the Rangers young team. Trouba would have a reliable and stable partner, while the Blues could also work on re-signing another important defenseman who is an RFA in Vince Dunn. The drawback is Scandella has fours years left on a deal that comes with a reasonable contract of $3.25 million AAV.
Sign UFA Joel Edmundson, Carolina Hurricanes
Joel Edmundson is a 27 year-old UFA from the Carolina Hurricanes. He is a solid defender with massive size at 6’4″ and 217 pounds. The problem is the competition for his services would certainly mean a NYR signing of 7 years and anywhere around $4 to $5 million AAV.
Of course, due to the flat-cap, Joel may not see top dollar with that term. If that’s the case a deal with that AAV for 4 years would be great.
Sign UFA, Torey Krug, Boston Bruins
This is the go-for-the-gusto option. If the Rangers can free up enough cap space, why not try and sign Bruins defenseman, Torey Krug? This depends on whatever they work out with Henrik Lundqvist either by buyout (save $3.5M) or trade at 50% retention ($4.25M). That alone won’t be enough, but other moves could find that $7.5 to $8 million it would take to land Krug.
Krug plays a strong two-way game for Boston. He is small at 5’9″ and 186 pounds but has good hockey IQ and would fit into David Quinn’s quick puck moving style. He can play the power play from the left side and scored 49 points in 61 games last season.
On the plus side, he is tough and doesn’t back down from a challenge. He also seems to score in the playoffs notching 18 points in 24 games last post season and has 6 points in 11 playoff games to date.